Whether you celebrate Easter religiously or simply enjoy it as a wonderful excuse for a long
weekend, there’s one common theme that always carries through during this local
holiday – and that’s family.
“The Easter school holidays are a wonderful opportunity for us to revisit our favourite places, or to discover something completely new,” says Guy Stehlik, Chief Executive Officer at BON Hotels. “South Africa offers a treasure trove of adventures for families.”
On the hunt for ideas this Easter? Read on for a few of our top local picks for families.
A picnic at Kirstenbosch
Cape Town, Western Cape
There’s a never-ending list of options for family activities to enjoy in the Mother City. But if the weather plays nice this Easter, pack the picnic basket and make a beeline for Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. A great place to let the kids run free in search of the Easter Bunny, should Cape Town be his destination of choice.
Of course, if you’re in the Western Cape an Easter picnic is almost compulsory. Many Stellenbosch wine farms have markets, picnics or Easter egg hunts planned for the long weekend. Including:
- Boschendal’s Good Friday night market on the 15th of April
- Pizza, wine and a scavenger hunt for the kids at Haskell Vineyards on Easter Sunday
- An Easter egg hunt and picnic at Skilpadvlei on Monday, 18 April
Games galore at Willow Way
Based close to Durban? Skip the holiday crowds and make your way inland to Willow Way Manor. There’s an extensive kiddies menu at the restaurant, live music on the go, and plenty of space to stretch out those little legs. The team also organises a range of Easter-themed activities – yes, there’s even an egg and spoon race!
Exploring the wetlands and waterways of St Lucia
St Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal
If you’re looking for an outdoorsy holiday packed with adventure, it’s hard to beat St Lucia and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
“Our self-catering St Lucia Lodge by BON Hotels is situated in one of the most extraordinary places in the world,” says Stehlik. “As a base, it gives families the chance to explore the St. Lucia Estuary, iSimangaliso Wetland Park and incredible beaches all the way up to Kosi Bay and the border with Mozambique. Get your kids passionate about conservation and the preservation of this pristine environment on canoe trips, boat trips, snorkelling excursions – even a gentle stroll along the 1.5 km Igwala Gwala Forest Trail, keeping a look out for the purple-crested turaco!”
Top tip? A St Lucia night safari is an unforgettable experience for kids. Join experienced guides in search of hippos, buffalo and elephants. Keep a keen eye out for nagapies (bushbabies) and even leopard. It’s nocturnal adventure worth every yawn the next day!
Nacht Market with Mom and Dad
In the mood for a market? If you’re in Gauteng, rally the family and head to the Edenvale Easter Night Market. This year, it’ll be held at the German Club in Edenvale on the 14th of April, from 6-10pm. Expect a range of lovely little stalls to mosey, with hand-crafted trinkets, toys, and clothing to scoop up. And, of course, enough hearty fare to fill the belly.
Head into the bush
Kruger National Park, Crocodile Bridge Gate, Mpumalanga
For Stehlik, there is nothing quite like a family holiday in the bush. “Looking for a quiet corner to bond with the whole brood? Whisk them away to Bucker’s Africa Lodge by BON Hotels just outside the Kruger National Park for an Easter safari to remember. Our self-catering family units offer the most glorious views stretching over the Crocodile River. No Easter bunnies spotted here yet, but you might just get a lucky sighting of his distant cousin — the scrub hare!”
Lunch at Zwakala
At Zwakala Brewery, there’s something for adults and kids alike: cold craft beer on tap, scenic views, and wide-open lawns to run on. The food is outstanding, too. This hidden gem in Limpopo also welcomes pets to join in the fun, so no need to leave Fido behind this Easter.
Family time on the farm
Tangaroa Farm, North West Province
Although the strawberries won’t yet be ripe for picking, Tangaroa is still a worthy spot to enjoy with your family this Easter. Tuck into fluffy pancakes and creamy milkshakes (strawberry flavour, of course!) at their Forage & Feast restaurant. The little ones will love interacting with all the fluffy and feathered friends who call this whimsical little farm home.
Flower hunting in Bloem
Bloemfontein, Free State
Bloemfontein is an ideal stop-over for a family road trip from Gauteng to Cape Town, Port Elizabeth or even the Wild Coast. If you find yourself near this region over the Easter long weekend, try make a pitstop at the Bloemfontein Botanical Gardens. Situated in a valley on the city’s outskirts, it provides a rather peaceful backdrop for a family picnic and picturesque pitstop.
Walk it off at Van Stadens
Van Stadens Flower Reserve, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
Located just 40 km out of PE, Van Staden’s features a wide range of walking trails, suitable for all fitness levels and ages. Lace up your takkies, then roll out together for an amble. You’ll quickly discover a hidden delight of rare and endemic plants whilst walking off that box of Beacon eggs – it’s a win-win!
Road trip up North
Richmond, Northern Cape
Setting off on a school holiday road trip? The Northern Cape and Karoo is well known for its special padstals and local shops. It’s an ideal destination for families who love to road trip. If you pass near Richmond, pop in at Vetmuis Plaaskombuis. Stock up on treats for the drive and perhaps something to take home from their fine selection of jams and preserves – just like Ouma used to make.